Mac or a Windows PC for music prod? The Definitive Guide

I will try to be as un-biased as possible in this article, but I will still share my own opinion about the mac vs windows issue.

The never ending debate, what system is best to use for music production or creative production? Depending on who you are asking you will get different answers.

The simplest answer is, buy the system you are most comfortable with, and the system that works with your DAW. However the answer isn’t always that simple, and I will try to outline some of the differences between both systems so you can make your own decision on what to choose.

If you want to use logic, you don’t have a choice, a Mac is the way to go for you. Other DAWs however, like Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase, Reason, Bitwig and now even FL Studio is multi platform. This means you can use it on Windows, or macOS.

They work on both systems.

You may have been told that Macs are best for music production. I don’t have any scientific numbers to back that claim up. But it is true that at least in the 90-ies Macs mostly occupied music studios around the world. They still do today in professional studios.

This article however, is not really for you that works in a professional music studio. You already know what tools you have to use to get your invoices paid. This article is more geared towards the hobby producer. Or semi-professional.

Why choose chose a Mac?

As I mentioned earlier, if you want to use Logic you have to get a Mac. You also have Garageband which is free. Its a stripped down version of Logic. Any GarageBand project you make can be opened in Logic if you decide to upgrade later on.

If you buy a Mac, you have everything you need to start up with music production right out the box. You don’t have to buy any software in addition to that to get started.
Macs have often been the computer of choice in creative industries, and they are known for its stability and ease of use. If you need to work with others it is a high probability that they use a Mac as well.

When you get a Mac most of the system is ready to go from the box. You may have to install some plugins yourself and connect an audio interface. Most of the time this process is painless and you are ready to go fast.

Macs are generally more expensive than its PC counterpart, but with a Mac you get the complete package with quality materials and excellent build quality. Many people agree that this is worth paying extra for.

macOS is considered to be a stable and excellent operating system. It is perfect for audio work with its stable and proven Core Audio system.

Macs also tend to get less viruses and malware, although it exist but its much less of a problem compared to Windows.

If ease of use, a stable OS, painless connectivity and build quality is important for you. A Mac may be the way to go if your budget allows it.

Why choose a PC?

A PC is cheaper, you get more raw performance out of your system for less money spent.

A PC is upgradeable, a Mac nowadays isn’t.

A few years ago, you could buy a lower specced Mac and upgrade some of its parts later on. This saved you some upfront costs. You could upgrade the RAM, or when your hard drive filled up with time it was possible to replace it with a bigger one. Or an SSD.

Nowadays when you buy a Mac, you have to get the correct specifications when you order it, its more or less impossible to upgrade it afterwards. Although todays Macs look good, have excellent build quality, and it feels like a tank. Its impossible to upgrade them.

Everything is soldered on the motherboards, even the hard drive / SSD, and memory.

With a PC, you can start out cheap and add or upgrade the hardware later down the line. You don’t have to go out and buy a completely new system from scratch to upgrade your RAM, hard-drive, CPU, display, etc.

With a PC you can decide for yourself whats more important for you. Do you want to game on your system during some downtime? Great, get a decent GPU and gaming is very much possible.

Doing this, may require that you know a thing or two about computers. But building your own computer isn’t that hard and nowadays there are plenty of youtube videos of PC building for beginners.

What do I use?

I use a Windows PC for most of my production. The biggest reason for this is because I need the raw CPU power for many of my projects. Many projects use a lot of soft-synths, which are CPU heavy with their unison / detune. Getting a Mac with a good CPU is possible, but its extremely expensive and I can’t justify the costs of that right now.

Also I do some occasional gaming and its just better to play World of Warcraft on a PC.

I also record videos of music production, doing screen recording and playing back a project in real time on a Mac would require me to buy a highly specced out system and thats economical suicide for me at the moment.

I need to be able to swap out my hard drive when it fills up without having to buy a new computer, or hang a dongle on the outside of my computer. I want to be able to upgrade my memory without having to replace the entire motherboard.

At some time, I may want to use Macs again for music production. Mostly because I like their os and ecosystem. But how the roadmap looks like now. It just isn’t possible for me.

In closing: I cant tell you what to buy. Thats a decision you have to do yourself. I hope this article helped you in some way and good luck with your music production!

2 thoughts on “Mac or a Windows PC for music prod? The Definitive Guide”

  1. Hi, thanks for the info. So you have a preferred DAW in PC? Recently a former logic user recommended Studio One. He said he and others he knows actually like it better than Logic.

    • For Windows / PC I prefer using Ableton Live since I am most familiar with that. When on the go, I sometimes use Logic Pro X. I have heard good things about other DAWs AS well, but I currently wont use the time to learn something new. Mostly because of time constraints at the moment. Not saying that other DAWs are bad. 🙂


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